Preview: Redefining Minnie-malism
Redefining Minnie-malism - LiveJournal.com
Last Build Date: Thu, 01 Jan 2009 20:25:38 GMT
Happy New Year MMIX
Thu, 01 Jan 2009 20:25:38 GMT
Hope everyone has a marvelous year full of creative inspiration, happiness, chocolate, and good will!
New York City is bitterly cold right now, but we have had a fun and busy week visiting with friends (from Ohio and Maryland), having a sumptuous dinner at Allen and Delancey
*, and getting ridiculously drunk on champagne. (image)
This is my I-am-too-cold-but-I-won't-show-it look. Taken at St. Mark's Church.
(*) This restaurant has the best desserts, ever. We had the Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart, served with Whole Milk Sorbet and Whiskey Vanilla Shake
, and Goat's Milk Cheese Cake, served with Fresh Figs, Pepper Ice Cream, and Pistachio Crunch
. Couldn't think of a sweeter note on which to ring in the new year!
From New York City...
Tue, 23 Dec 2008 03:30:26 GMT
...warm holiday wishes!
Although Alex and I are, at present, in a winter wonderland known as Massachusetts, I took these photos last week when we went around Manhattan browsing the holiday markets at Bryant Park and Union Square, drinking spiked cider by the ice skating rinks, and gawking at the Rockefeller Christmas Tree which we pay homage to every year.
One of the best things about Christmas in New York City is the creativity and whimsy seen in the window displays of major department stores. People -- both locals and tourists -- brave the freezing weather to stand in line for as long as it takes to view each window.
Lord and Taylor:
Saks, Fifth Ave.:
To be continued...
Series NY: Brooklyn
Thu, 20 Nov 2008 16:54:06 GMT
I love New York.Clichéd though this sounds, it needs to be said. I don't just love New York because of the electric energy of the city, the indomitable spirit of its people, or the towering structures, or even the sense of recognized anonymity it offers. It's all that but also something else -- the obscurities of New York City. The lesser known sights and cozy gardens, the old-world neighborhoods, the hole-in-the-wall cafés and independent book stores, and the timelessness found in Manhattan's mossy crevices or in the hidden lanes of its boroughs -- to me, this is the real New York. These sights are certainly not as well known as the green lady with the torch, or the park that's featured in every other Hollywood movie, but still hold their own in terms of charm and beauty.Every summer and fall, Alex and I go all over Manhattan and the boroughs, discovering and re-discovering these obscure gems.Brooklyn Heights is one such neighborhood -- a place that's dappled with nineteenth-century brownstones and fabulous apartment buildings. You'll find a mix of old people, young families, and Wall Street yuppies. All of this is intermingled with historical landmarks and quaint churches, as well as antique book stores and winding streets soaked with evergreens.**[...]
A Spooktacular Return
Fri, 31 Oct 2008 17:18:23 GMT
Thank you for all the nudges and e-mails... I still feel fuzzy every time I read and re-read them. It's nice to be missed.
Apologies for the seemingly endless tryst with silence and self-imposed hiatus. Life took over in ways that left me overwhelmed, hard pressed for time and, verbally constipated.
It was necessary to re-charge my batteries and take a breather. I have missed Live Journal and all you wonderful people. After having missed weeks and months worth of entries, there's no way I could ever get caught up, so please bring to my attention any noteworthy news or events on your end. :)
In my corner of the world, the notable events have been inheriting real estate, dabbling in interior designing, reviewing restaurants and cafés, photography, insane amounts of travel, and now being a pet-parent to the most delightful kitten in the world (Moi? The lifelong dog-person? Shocking) ...
There's so much to share, in so many different ways; I am not sure where to begin. How about with the fact that it is Halloween! Alex and I attended the "Blaze"
festival again in the Hudson Valley. Happy treating (or tricking...) everyone!
The entrance to the Jack O' Lantern Blaze
The roof of the treats tent. Here they sold everything autumnal like cider, pumpkin cupcakes, corn chowder, et cetera.
The intricately carved pumpkins.
Her SecretVienna Teng - Feather Moon
Fri, 28 Mar 2008 17:05:53 GMT
She was a dryad; a maiden enchanted. But few knew of her secret...
Amber and Gold
(Inspired by a character from a screenplay Alex is working on; alas, I am not allowed to reveal details just yet).
My newly designed sets for Polyvore.
Watch Me Watch YouSepiamusic - Ease Me
Fri, 21 Mar 2008 17:48:59 GMT
Photographer: Kevin Connolly
Born without legs, Kevin Connolly had to endure stares all his life. A trip to Europe changed that -- the watched became the watcher. Connolly started taking photos of people watching him, capturing their expressions and emotions in a candid manner.
The 22 year-old has since then shot more than 32,000 photos and has created a diverse portfolio of his travels and experiences on his website, The Rolling Exhibition
. His interview is featured here
. Make sure to watch the video; it's inspirational to say the least.
QuestionatSkye - Solitary
Mon, 17 Mar 2008 18:21:53 GMT
I'm so much in love with this game, that I just had to share the link --Questionaut
is an animated game created for BBC's Bitesize educational site.
The game starts when you click on the little chap weaving the basket, and his hat flies off. In the second scene -- which is also the first level -- you can click on various objects until finally, the correct click and the right sequence will make the old man have a speech bubble with a question for you. There are three options and selecting the right option will advance the game to the next level. The questions vary every time, and the clicks get more and more obscure as each level progresses. Here's a clue: Make use of logic
while clicking. ;-)
Also, every level deals with a different subject viz.
geometry, language, physics, arithmetic, et cetera.
I have already played it twice, just for the adorable graphics.(image)
Screenshot from the game
Europa - IIIChopin - Nocturne #21 in C Minor
Wed, 12 Mar 2008 20:15:12 GMT
The charming town of Salzburg lies nestled against the craggy cliff of the Mönchsberg mountain, with the forbidding fortress of Festung Hohensalzburg keeping a silent vigil. The streets of the old town are narrow, paved with stones, and partially frozen in time. Numerous shops and boutiques beckon the visitor, their elegant façades festooned with elaborate iron-and-gilt signs, and horse-drawn carriages clop past ornate churches. The cafès are plenty -- perfect for taking a break from the ubiquitous throngs of tourists, while enjoying frothy coffee and the town's signature chocolate, Mozartkugeln
(literal translation: Mozart balls).
I fell in love with Salzburg within seconds after stepping out of the train station. For once, the city girl in me was more than happy to be in a charming old town. And also, the fact that one of my most beloved composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was born here (in 1756)* further enhanced its appeal.
My stay in Austria was absolutely wonderful, and the people were so friendly and always eager to come to my help. Salzburg, especially, was very captivating. I'm already looking forward to returning someday.
Handicrafts for sale in the market. Can you spot the second owl?
Festung Hohensalzburg **
Puppet exhibition inside the fortress.
My dead lover, Mozart, who else.
The breathtaking views and the lush greenery.
(*) Mozart achieved more fame, appreciation, and acclaim outside of his birth place, but that remains a different matter altogether. Now the place is defined by him -- you can't escape his presence anywhere.
(**) The Festung Hohensalzburg
(Salzburg Fortress), a 15-minute walk from the city centre, can be accessed by a funicular, which whisks you to the top in just sixty seconds. The fortress was built over the centuries by successive prince-archbishops. The opulent interiors provide a glimpse into the late-Gothic ducal style of living. There are also two small museums covering arms and ammunition, puppets, WWII photos, and tools of torture.
More to come soon...
III.II.MMVIIICarl Orff - Carmina Burana
Sun, 02 Mar 2008 05:45:08 GMT
whispers of the sea -
the sound I heard in my soul,
before being born
The day calls for champagne and foie gras, and of course, gooey and sinfully dark chocolate cake. ;-)Photo by Alex
Couture on the Carpet
Mon, 25 Feb 2008 08:54:27 GMT
Alert the fashion police, please.
Why was Tilda Swinton dressed like a one-winged bat
? Even the chunky diamond bracelet failed to detract from the ugliness of her gown.
Another monstrosity was the one worn by Rebecca Miller
, wife of Daniel Day-Lewis. Black velvet bodice, red bows, and two humongous accents of black crystal. She looked like a Christmas gift-wrap gone horribly wrong. The hideousness of her striped shoes matched that of her husband's brown suede ones.
Then, of course, there was Julie Christie
who probably stole the Queen's drapes to make herself a dress. Also, her gloves were not only tacky, but didn't even go with the style of her "garment." (I simply can't get myself to refer to that as a "dress" the second time around).Mary Hart
was probably hoping to bag the title of Little Miss Sunshine
. Either that, or she fell in a tub of butter on her way to the Kodak Theater. Too much yellow, lady. And far too many pleats.
The best-dressed (and my favourite gowns), in no particular order were: Nicole Kidman
, Renée Zellweger
(a tad too glittery for my taste but still stylish), Diane Lane
, Vanessa Paradis
, and Katherine Hiegl
. Elegant, feminine, and superbly styled.
Oh, and on a slightly different note, someone needs to check Colin Farrell for fleas and then scrub him clean with a strong disinfectant. Ick.
Mac-nificentFeist - 1234
Fri, 15 Feb 2008 17:45:27 GMT
My Hermès and Noir.
Remembering my initial reluctance and hesitation to make the switch from being a PC-user to a Mac-user, two years ago, makes me now shake my head and wonder incredulously -- what the heck was I thinking!
I still have to deal with Microsuck
from time to time as one of my desktop computers is a PC and, the addition of some Photoshop filters that aren't yet available for Mac-users compels me to use it for post-processing of certain images. But, I am now a die hard Mac fan for life. Call it passion, call it obsession, call it mania if you will, but my lust and desire for Apple would rival even that of Eve's
We already own more Apple products in my family than can be counted on two hands, and the desire to acquire even more is unending. During a recent phone conversation, she
snickered and labeled my family as The Apple Family.
I couldn't agree more.
A "Dear Jan" letter...Yael Naim - Paris
Thu, 31 Jan 2008 05:30:03 GMT
... with the frosty fingers and smoky breath, faded skies and naked trees. Yes, you.
You arrived loud and rambunctious as usual, tinsel coming out of your ears, a few assorted resolutions stuffed hastily in your pocket. Tell me, o first born, were you a little drunk that day? Thank you for my present, by the way ... loved the snow; it was exactly what I wanted!
Life has become busier since you happened: [You] filled my calendar with urgent plans and meetings and projects that needed undivided attention. Took me to busy airports where immigration officers were a tad too chatty, and to business lounges where red-faced men with slim gold watches and crumpled suits, sat pounding at their keyboards, jet-lag not dampening their astute investment skills even in the slightest. Dear January, you took me on long transatlantic flights where the food was excellent but the company too garrulous.
Away from home, yet back again, and yet not. Please remind me again that I love globe trotting...?
I wasn't too happy when you stole my muse, leaving me despairing for words and art. Not to mention the sleepless nights and the exhausting workshops set up in my brain. A moment's rest? Never.
Goodbye January, I bid thee adieu ... we shall meet again next year, and let's just promise to go easy on the champagne, shall we? You arrived on the back of the wind that tried to tease the scarf away from my neck. Thank you for leaving a winter sunshine in your wake.
- Yours in 12ºC weather,
Mon, 24 Dec 2007 06:32:52 GMT
It's a white Christmas, after all. I can't get enough of snow. I am slightly intoxicated on white wine, and stuffed on far too many cookies.
It does feel like "the most wonderful time of the year": There were blue jays outside the window this morning, and a couple of deer wandered into the back yard last night. April
sent a gingerbread house kit, which was assembled and decorated with much enthusiasm. There was a cozy dinner at a favourite Italian restaurant, as well as a truly fantastic and lavish dinner at the award-winning Gracie's
-- made even more enjoyable by really
Of course, there were embarrassing moments, too. Like when I crawled underneath the Christmas tree, and crouched on all fours to sneak a peek at my presents. Curious and impatient, I wasn't very careful and got my long hair tangled in the branches. Too afraid to move, due to some of the ornaments being vintage and thus fragile, all I could do was call for help. A very bemused Alex came to the rescue, shaking his head and tut-tutting.
"Learned your lesson?"
"Oh, shut up."
"Learned your lesson?!"
"Yes. Next time, I shall just pin up my hair."**
I love to sit by the tree, with the macbook -- usually with a hot chocolate nearby. And, every time I look at the tree, I see something anew...(image)
Have a wonderful Christmas!
The Winter Express*Billy Joel - She's Got a Way
Thu, 20 Dec 2007 21:48:43 GMT
I sent the following as multiple SMS, while on the train to Rhode Island. I was later urged to blog these moments, and so:
(*) A salute to Chris van Allsburg.
Train journeys are romantic at night. But during the day, plain magical -- especially during winter. Thick quilts of snow between the tracks, patterned here and there with dainty bird tracks and scattered berries. Sunrays are shining down gently.
Ooh, amidst all that snow, there is a small clearing claimed by the sun and dry grass. A cat found its way there and curled up like a golden comma.
An old bench, red and peeling, cradles a small mound of snow. A tyre hangs down from a tree, evoking memories of swinging children and summertime. My book lies in my lap, unopened. Everything I wish to read right now is outside the train window.
I am in love with New England. I am also somewhat distracted by the man sitting across from me. He has dandruff flakes that look like magnified snow crystals. How very charming.
Christmas in Manhattan - IIMassive Attack - Teardrop
Wed, 19 Dec 2007 18:15:59 GMT
Two posts from me, back to back -- that's quite rare. Procrastination usually doesn't let go of me this easily. But, even as I write this, I wonder how long this trend will last.Saks, on Fifth Ave., has always managed to capture my heart (and wallet), independent of their Christmas decorations. So, call it my bias or just the fact that, well, Saks is Saks -- inimitable and par excellence -- but I do feel that this year their decorations were the most elaborate and the most elegant. (However, Bloomingdale's tops the category of the most whimsical and creative decorations).This year, in addition to the glamorous mannequins, the windows of Saks feature quirky, spinning, whirling and twirling snowmen (and snow-women) à la Dr. Seuss-proportioned scenes. The narrative is inspired by the children’s book, “Snowpeople,” written by Rick and Ryan Zeeb.Saks, Fifth Ave.Note the snow-people riding the subway in the background.****Off to Rhode Island/Massachusetts for a week. Have a wonderful holiday weekend, everyone![...]
Christmas in Manhattan - IThe Piano Soundtrack - Michael Nyman
Tue, 18 Dec 2007 20:45:37 GMT
Writing has taken a back seat, lately, because there has been just too much going on, all at once. Luckily, photography hasn't suffered. Then again, Manhattan is photogenic and full of inspiration even on the dullest and grayest day -- but, during the holiday season, (it is) especially beautiful.Bryant ParkMagnificent tree at Bryant Park.The Holiday markets here are among the best in the city. **The major department stores of New York City department stores have been unveiling their decorated holiday windows for the last forty-five years, adopting a different theme every year. It is estimated that the window displays draw around 6,000 viewers per hour at the peak of the season.NY Times defines the animated window displays as little mini-Broadway shows — with narratives, scenery, and soundtracks. Each department store window display reflects a distinct personality, often in line with the character of the store, whether it be classic and refined, or completely whimsical.Lord & TaylorLord & Taylor’s theme this year is the five senses of Christmas portrayed through a series of miniature elegant and classic holiday scenes with a largely European flavor. Taste is portrayed as a Christmas dinner in an upper class New York city home. Feel is a wintry Copenhagen scene where a child prepares to throw a snowball and others are building a snowman. Smell is captured by the fragrant pastries and breads of a Paris bakery making holiday treats. Sight is Santa Claus arriving in Venice’s exquisite facades. Sound portrays a group of musicians playing in a Vienna mansion. A final window shows children from all over the world, dressed in their native costumes, celebrating the holiday. The detailed scenes are replicated to a miniature scale painstakingly assembled by the department store and Spaeth Design staff. “People don’t realize that everything they see in the windows are done by hands,” said Manoel Renha, Lord & Taylor’s vice president for visual merchandising.(Excerpted from NY Times)New York City (Taste)Copenhagen (Feel)Copenhagen (Feel)Copenhagen (Feel)Copenhagen (Feel)Paris (Smell)Paris (Smell)Venice (Sight)Vienna! (Sound)Interspersed with the Christmas theme, are the mannequins flaunting the latest designer collections that each store features. Manhattan, thy middle name is Haute Couture.Copenhagen window shots taken by Alex.[...]
P.S.A.: Free RiceJohn Denver - Leaving on a Jet Plane
Thu, 29 Nov 2007 19:42:32 GMT
A fun game for vocab-enthusiasts, that also lets one donate free rice to nations facing starvation problems. The distribution is handled by United Nations World Food Program
, and every contribution helps.
Moreover, it's an addictive game! I had to force myself to stop after reaching 50 levels and earning 5000 grains of rice. All the hours spent playing Scrabble certainly helped. I could've played all day, but then I wouldn't get anything done.
Go ahead, beat my score: Free Rice
. (No cheating!)
Link courtesy: (image) enthiomaniac
“Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile" ~ William Cullen BryantJoshua Bell - Chopin Nocturne in C sharp minor
Tue, 20 Nov 2007 05:40:58 GMT
Autumnal New England:
"It was one of those perfect (English) autumnal days which
occur more frequently in memory than in life."
~ P. D. James
"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird
I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
~ George Eliot
"The lands are lit with all the autumn blaze of golden-rod,
and everywhere the purple asters nod and bend and wave and flit."
~ Helen Hunt
"Youth is like spring, an over praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes. Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits."
~ Samuel Butler
“They travel with a constant companion, autumn.”
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“The teeming Autumn big with rich increase, bearing the wanton burden
of the prime like widowed wombs after their lords decease.”
~ William Shakespeare
The Last Night of OctoberOctober Project - Return To Me
Sat, 03 Nov 2007 02:24:16 GMT
Last year when Alex asked me what I was planning to wear for Halloween, I blinked and said, "Umm, Chanel Nº 5, what else??"
That was both my first Halloween celebration, and the first one in Manhattan.
Participating in the Greenwich Village Parade
was so much fun, that I was resolved to put more time and effort into getting my costume together this year. So, planning weeks ahead of time, I bought a Gothic gown and ordered a gothic choker
from Edinburgh, complete with Onyx and black Swarovski crystals.
Turnout for the Halloween Parade was once again in hundreds of thousands (fifty thousand participants, and over a million spectators). We were running late due to a medical emergency, but somehow we made it. We started marching at sometime after 8:00 p.m. and winded down only after 01:30 a.m. Bring on the candy; we have more than earned it.
Some time during the evening, we ended up at Chinatown Brasserie
, in full getup, for some delectable dim-sums. By 02:00 a.m., Manhattan was still rocking with the spooky festivities.
Hope everyone had a spooktacular Halloween!
Oh, and I wore Bvlgari Omnia
this year. ;-)
The MinntrixOver the Rhine - Grey Monologue
Tue, 16 Oct 2007 23:45:38 GMT
"I know why you're here, Neo. I know what you've been doing... why you hardly sleep, why you live alone, and why night after night, you sit by your computer. You're looking for chocolate. I know because I was once looking for the same thing. And when the chocoholism found me, he told me I wasn't really looking for a piece of chocolate. I was looking for an entire chocolate factory. It's the addiction that drives us, Neo. It's the chocoholism that brought you here. You know the craving, just as I did."
Forget the blue pill; eat the chocolate.
There was something in the air...Moby - Porcelain
Sun, 14 Oct 2007 22:49:53 GMT
The sky always manages to surprise me. Today it is the colour of split peaches, with a deep crimson streak running down vertically, oozing out of the scattered clouds. Makes me think of the juice of a peach escaping from its fleshy prison.
I'm sitting by the river. As always, the water has decided to emulate the sky by taking on its colour. Little sailboats, dark silhouettes against the flaming backdrop, bob silently towards their destination. The river tempts me, teases me, allures me with its sight and smell. Unable to control myself any longer, I slip off my shoes and dip my toes in the water. Tentatively, at first... on the surface the water is warm, having been kissed by the dissolving sunlight moments ago. But, as my toes wade deeper, it feels considerably cooler. I like this sensation: warm water caressing my slender ankles, cool water stinging my toes. It's mildly erotic.
In this moment, in this setting, surrounded by this atmosphere, I feel very light. If I don't grip the banister, I just might start floating.
Eventually, I notice them... the old Chinese couple sitting a few feet away from me. He wears gray trousers that ride all the way up to his waist; she wears an aura of gentleness. His hair is white, so white, wispy and long -- almost like cotton candy. Their faces are covered with a web of fine creases and wrinkles. If I look at them long enough and close enough, perhaps I can gauge their wisdom from the lines on their faces. Just like reading the age of some ancient tree by counting the rings in its trunk.
A soft steam envelops them, promising warmth and sweetness. It is arising from the paper cups in their hands. I squint my eyes and notice the milky brown droplets streaking the rim of his cup. Hot chocolate.
They giggle, innocently and with childlike simplicity, and every sip of their warm drink causes mild excitement between them. They talk to each other, mumbling in a language I cannot understand, and do not wish to understand, either. I'd rather leave their conversation shrouded in the steam of mystery that paradoxically both isolates them in their little world, and yet draws attention. Instead, I allow my mind to flit from one idle speculation to another: perhaps they talk of travel to exotic lands or bonsai trees that bear pea-sized oranges. Perhaps they discuss what they will have dinner tonight, or what gift would be ideal for their grandson's nephew's wedding. Perhaps they only talk delightedly about their hot chocolate(s).
I finally tear my gaze away from them, and remove my feet from the water. It's getting cold now. Within a matter of minutes, it changed from around 23ºC to maybe 19ºC. Of course, that's just my estimated guess, but I am usually on the mark with temperatures. My toes have turned milky white and bear wrinkles from being submerged in water for too long. I gaze at the old woman's cheek one more time; it still surpasses the wrinkles on my toes.
Immersing in my innermost thoughts again, I wear my shoes, shut my notebook, and head towards home. My own little steaming cup of sweetness awaits me. Hot chocolate, here I come.
La Porte RougeCamille Sant-Saëns - Aquarium
Fri, 14 Sep 2007 04:41:51 GMT
Someday I would like to own a boutique that has a silver wind-chime that sings in beguiling tones every time the door is opened.
Chic dresses, enamel bracelets, and berets hand-sewn in France will occupy one section of the boutique, while books -- preferably rare and first editions, smelling of old leather and time -- will occupy the other section. There will be comfortable armchairs with silk cushions, Louis XV style
mirrors and footstools, and Belgian truffles served on ornate trays for special customers.
Someday I would like my "boutique-library" to have a bright red door.
Stones with SoulCosmic Baby - Herbst in Berlin
Fri, 07 Sep 2007 15:29:22 GMT
Eager to see the newly opened Greek and Roman Galleries
at The Met
, Alex and I spent a good chunk of Labour Day at the museum. It was beautiful, really beautiful. We walked around in awe, seeing everything anew, and going shutter-happy. The Met, I have realized, is like our sacred temple. A regular homage is a must; the lure is impossible to resist.
So, some photos -- statues that spoke to me, breathed and sighed, and had more soul than would be expected of something inanimate. All with a dash of daft captions to boot.
Lost his head, he did.
Two heads are better than one. But, four heads are better than... none.
Dude Hercules wearing the skin of the big cat he killed. No P.E.T.A. in those days.
Think outside the box? Never!
All in fragments...
I see headless people.
Last, but not the least...
My personal favourite.